Friday, August 29, 2008

Aaron's take on his new Benchmade model 950SBK Rift

I'll TRY to make this quick. Discomfort already reviewed this knife, see his great post below, from a few days ago. His words were convincing and I found myself in a rare and temporary position to spend some dough. He gave the 'generals', now I'll give the specifics...Disc uses his knives much harder than I do, for a wide variety of work and home tasks. He's the guy that took his brand new Emerson CQC-10 out of it's box, and rammed it, hard as he could into his kid's discarded rockinghorse, made of 1/2" thick plastic! When he likes a knife, I know it can be used hard. I very recently bought the awesome Benchmade/Blackwood Rukus. It's an amazing knife, and I love my large folders, but it's just too large and menacing to use at work around "Sheeple". I went to my local warehouse sporting goods store before work today, the one I call "Redneck REI". The Rift was unbelievably below suggested retail and they had an untouched one in a box. I took it. I'm a very picky knife guy, I'm partial to higher-end factory knives in the $100-$250 range and after just one afternoon of carrying the 950 at work, I'm impressed. My first Benchmade Axis Lock knife, was their flagship 710 Bill McHenry/Jason Williams design. I bought one as soon as they came out. I used the snot out of that blade, and now it's in Discomfort's collection. BM's Axis is arguably the finest modern folding knife locking system yet in history. All it takes is moving water to clean it, and no matter what kind of debris gets up in there, these things always lock up solid.

Warren Osborne's beautiful design on the 950 seems natural as a home for an elegant piece of engineering like the much-imitated Axis. This is the first Warren Osborne design I've ever liked well enough to buy. I've always thought of his designs as kind of feminine and boring. His 950 could be considered gender-neutral, yet dark, aggressive, and mean as hell. I love the look and the feel, as Disc. mentioned of the multi-textured G-10 in black and gray, that makes up the handle/blade housing. Blade shape is Osborne's signature "reverse tanto", but beefed up. 154CM is probably better than any knife steel I've ever used, and it's American made by Crucible. My only comment, or more of a question: If Benchmade put the 950 in their 'black box', military and LE professional line, why isn't there any sort of texture or jimping on the thumb ramp? Various retailers have it listed as a "combat folder", and it's no doubt very capable, but the design lacks any sort of grip on the blade spine or blade/handle junction. This is probably due to the fact that the entire handle is aggressively textured and it would probably take an 'act of God' to dislodge the knife from your hand, even if it was wet or bloody. Just a thought. Let me say that I haven't been this excited to own and use a Benhmade knife since I bought the Elishewitz Nimravus when it made its debut when I was a much younger man. I agree with D's review below, the 950 Rift is a sure fit for me too. For dimensions and technical specs, click our Benchmade link, or check out the link to your right.

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